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Re: Drushek phonology (revised)

From:John Vertical <johnvertical@...>
Date:Monday, May 7, 2007, 13:26
Donald Boozer wrote:
>Brief Drushek History and Physiology: >The Drushek originally inhabited an island off the >coast of the mainland until their home was invaded and >overran by the Varalsans. Many of Drushek escaped the >island and now wander the continent, teaching Shekstan >(their esoteric, mystical philosophy) to anyone who >comes to them with an interest (i.e., they are not >evangelical). Drushek stand about three feet tall, >have large muscular tails, and travel most effectively >by leaping great distances. They have a large mane of >hair and a tuft at the end of the tail; other than >that, they are hairless. They have no claws or sharp >teeth or other natural defenses (other than their >leaping ability).
Hold on ... are they still Terran mammals? I don't recall if you mentioned that the last time, and it's not obvious from this either. Next up, some comments on the phonetics (from a human viewpoint - Drushek physiology might differ, naturally):
>s' = /s_>/ >z' = /C_>/
/ts_> cC_>/ would be more naturalistic - consider that eg. /tK_> kx_>/ commonly occur in contrast with only the voiceless fricativ - but I suppose fricativs do work too.
>n = /(h_n)_>/ ejective glottal fricative with a nasal >release, as if trying to dislodge something from the >nose with the mouth closed.
Er, if it's ejectiv, the POA cannot be glottal (since you've alreddy got the glottis in use for creating the airflow). I think you're going for a voiceless nasal of some sort here, possibly pre- or fully glottalized, or ejectiv. Probably with dorsal or labial oral closure, but I'm not so sure about that. (So CXS /?N\_0/, or /m_0_>/ = /p_>_n/, or thereabout.)
>x = /x/ voiceless velar fricative, in German Bach
Wait ... if you have /q q_>/ rather than /k k_>/, but possibly having velar allophones, shouldn't this phoneme pattern the same way? Ie /X/ but with [x] as an allophone? (And IIRC German "ch" commonly *is* [X] after back vowels, isn't it?)
>r' = /r_>/ voiceless alveolar ejective
Likewise here, I'd think /tr_>/ were better. Your transcriptions even have "tr'" rather than just plain "r'", so I suppose you could even actually mean just that.
>k* = /N_!/ nasalized velar click (in Z-SAMPA >notation). The mouth is closed and the velum is the >point of articulation with the air being ingressive >nasally.
I call this a "bilabial (nasal) anticlick" in my own voiceless xenolang. A proper velar click would involve an uvular closure.
>Affricates: The most common affricates are qs /q_s/ and ps /p_s/. >These also occur as a stop+ejective: qs' and ps'
Just FWIW, non-homorganic stop+fricativ pairs aren't usually considered affricates.
>The Question of Vowels: >Being a voiceless language, Drushek does not have >vowels as they are normally understood in languages >utilizing voicing. However, the concept of the >voiceless vowel is applicable in this situation. In >X-SAMPA transcription, voiceless vowels include /A_0, >E_0, I_0, u_0/. "Semi-vowels" or "pseudo-vowels" are >present in the language, namely x, h, r', and r. For >example, the word <tr'w.> /r_>u_0/ "being, existence; >(a) being" is transliterated into UP as "dru" /dr\u/ >whereas <trx.> /rxA_0/ "gesture, hand-shape" is >transliterated "tra" /tr\A/.
So, what's the scheme for inserting these voiceless vowels? Arbitrary standard? If it were based on the quality of the adjacent consonants, I'd expect a set of six: /i_0 y_0 @_0 8_0 A_0 Q_0/ or something thereabout - that is, palatal influence, no influence, and uvular/pharyngeal influence, all with labial influence variants. I suppose this sort of a set might get mangled into exactly /i_0 i_0 E_0 u_0 A_0 A_0/, tho, in the mouths of Umod speakers if that language only had /i E A u/, and that even matches your transcriptions to a good extent. But surely the Drushek themselves wouldn't be limited by human vowel inventory tendencies?
>k = /($\_0)N_<\/ nasal-ingressive voiceless velar >trill. This is the sound parodied in SpecGram (wide >double dot O). It is the English sound of a pig >snorting. This is a common expression of disbelief or >incredulity.
By POA, this is technically velopharyngeal, not velar, since the velum is the activ articulator rather than the passiv. A plain velar trill is considered impossible for human tungs, but a velopharyngeal fricativ /f\/ (this transcription from Z-SAMPA) can be contrasted with the velar fricativ /x/. Now, technically, all non-nasal sounds are co-articulated with a velopharyngeal stop, and all nasal sounds with a velopharyngeal approximant; Other velopharyngeals can also be combined with basically all oral configurations, too. If you have no oral closure (with the velopharyngeal trill), you get a snort; if you have one, you get a snore. Anyway, this all still sounds mighty interesting. Glad that you shared this! John Vertical _________________________________________________________________ Windows Live Messenger - kivuttoman viestinnän puolestapuhuja.